{letter to Charlie at 1 year}

Dear Charlie,

My sweet boy- We just celebrated your first birthday!  It was a wonderful day filled with family, friends, cake & much much love.  Not exactly the day your mama had planned (a rainstorm changed our plans dramatically), but it was just perfect for you I think.  Funny how those things work out. 

I wish I could remember every detail of your first year, but since that’s impossible I hope your dad and I can always remember the emotions of this year.  Pure joy when the midwife placed you on my stomach and you let out a small but powerful cry, announcing to the world, “I’m here!”  Excitement and exhaustion in the days that followed.  We never wanted to put you down, and you perferred to be held anyway, thankyouverymuch.  Fortunately there were lots of willing grandparents, aunts and uncles around.  And you found their arms to be a perfectly warm and snuggly sleeping spot too.  Wonderment in those early weeks at all the amazing things you could do.  Staring at your perfect fingers & toes, your peaceful sleeping face, your beautiful (and at that time still dark brown) hair… we loved every detail of you and every little thing you did!  You changed so fast, and that amazed us too.  Before we knew it you could do a push-up (ask you daddy about that!), roll over and best of all grin up at us.  The love we felt for you & our growing family was (and still is) overwhelming. 

I don’t want to paint too rosy a picture: we had struggles too.  Exhaustion being the biggest one.  You did not sleep very well, even when you got into a rhythm and gave us a 4-5 hour stretch each night, I often still felt overwhelmed and overtired.  Also you were a very spitty/drooly baby… there was lots of cleaning the floor, changing your bib (or whole outfit depending on the day), and sometimes this was frustrating for your poor mama.  (I was working hard to get you to take that milk!) 

Also I’m not sure if Daddy ever felt this way, but I worried (and sometimes still worry) about being able to do everything that is best for you.  Most of the time I am able to remind myself: you were given to us for a reason, we will help you grow and guide you when you need it, and I know you are helping us to grow as well.  Plus we have wonderful family & friends, they will always be there for you.  But it is a truly awesome responsibility to raise you so I am grateful we have help.  We want you to have strong character; to be loving, generous, respectful and compassionate.  We will try to lead you by example!

I know I have said this before, but you grew so fast.  It seemed one day I was able to leave you on a blanket on the floor with toys, content in the knowledge you couldn’t roll to far, and the next day you were scooting along.  Very shortly after that real crawling then toddling along!  You are very vocal; you have a lot to say about this big world.  We can’t wait to be able to understand more of it!  You spend more and more time playing with your toys, and you are really able to engage now.  You make new discoveries everyday- we can almost see your wheels turning, as you figure things out.  You have the best smiles (which you give freely) and a wonderful laugh (which you save for truly funny things- like when the dog sneezes.  Ha!)

Love you so very much!  I don’t know how we got so lucky, but I am grateful for you everyday.  You bring joy to all of us who are lucky enough to know you!

Love always,

Mama & Daddy

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